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San Jose State University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

San José State University
SJSU Seal.svg
Former names
Minns Evening Normal School (1857–1862)
California State Normal School (1862–1887)
State Normal School at San Jose (1887–1921)
State Teachers College at San Jose (1921–1935)
San Jose State College (1935–1972)
California State University, San Jose (1972–1974)
Motto Powering Silicon Valley
Type Public
Established 1857
Endowment $125.6 million (2016)[1]
President Mary Papazian
Provost Andy Feinstein (Provost and V.P. of Academic Affairs)[2]
Academic staff
2,058 (Fall 2016)[3]
Administrative staff
1,421 (Fall 2016)[4]
Students 32,154 (Fall 2016)[5]
Undergraduates 26,388 (Fall 2016)[5]
Postgraduates 5,766 (Fall 2016)[5]
Location San Jose, California, U.S.
37°20′07″N 121°52′53″W / 37.3353°N 121.8813°W / 37.3353; -121.8813
Campus Urban, 154 acres (62 ha) on main campus and 62 acres (25 ha) on south campus
Colors Blue, Gold and Gray [6]
Nickname Spartans
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I FBSMountain West
Mascot Sammy Spartan
SJSU Primary Mark Vector svg.svg

San José State University (commonly referred to as San Jose State or SJSU) is a comprehensive public university located in San Jose, California, United States. It is the founding school of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system, and holds the distinction of being the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast of the United States.[10][11]

Located in downtown San Jose, the SJSU main campus is situated on 154 acres (62 ha), or roughly 19 square blocks. SJSU offers 134 bachelor's and master's degrees with 110 concentrations and five credential programs with 19 concentrations.[12][13] The university also offers two joint doctoral degree programs and one independent doctoral program as of 2014.[14] SJSU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).[15]

SJSU's total enrollment was 32,154 in fall 2016, including nearly 5,800 graduate students. As of fall 2016, graduate student enrollment at SJSU was the second-highest of any campus in the CSU system.[5] SJSU's student population is one of the most ethnically diverse in the nation, with large Asian and Hispanic enrollments, as well as the highest foreign student enrollment of all master's institutions in the United States.[16]

As of fall 2016, the top five most popular undergraduate majors at SJSU were (in descending order of popularity) design studies, psychology, kinesiology, business administration/marketing and biological sciences.[17] As of fall 2016, the top five most popular graduate programs were (in descending order of popularity) software engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, library and information sciences and industrial/systems engineering.[17]

More San José State University alumni are hired by Silicon Valley firms than graduates of any other college or university,[18][19] and philanthropic support of SJSU is among the highest in the CSU system.[20]

SJSU sports teams are known as the Spartans, and compete in the NCAA Division I FBS Mountain West Conference.



What is now San José State University was originally established in 1857 as the Minns Evening Normal School in San Francisco, founded by George W. Minns.[10][21]

 An 1880s lithograph of the original California State Normal School campus in San Jose.
An 1880s lithograph of the original California State Normal School campus in San Jose.

In 1862, by act of the California legislature, Minns Evening Normal School became the California State Normal School and graduated 54 women from a three-year program.[10]

The school eventually moved to San Jose in 1871, and was given Washington Square Park at Fourth and San Carlos Streets, where the campus remains to this day.

In 1881, a large bell was forged to commemorate the school. The bell was inscribed with the words "California State Normal School, A.D. 1881," and would sound on special occasions until 1946 when the college obtained new chimes.[22] The original bell appears on the SJSU campus to this day, and is still associated with various student traditions and rituals.

 The California State Normal School Bell, forged in 1881, still graces the San Jose campus.
The California State Normal School Bell, forged in 1881, still graces the San Jose campus.

In August 1882, a southern branch campus of the California State Normal School opened in Los Angeles, which later became the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).[23][24] The southern branch campus would remain under administrative control of the San Jose campus until 1919, when by act of the California state legislature the school became the second campus of the University of California and was renamed the Southern Branch of the University of California.[25]

In 1921, the California State Normal School changed its name to the State Teachers College at San Jose. In 1935, the State Teachers Colleges became the California State Colleges, and the school's name was changed again, this time to San Jose State College. In 1972, upon meeting criteria established by the board of trustees and the Coordinating Council for Higher Education, SJSC was granted university status, and the name was changed to California State University, San Jose.[26]

Finally, in 1974, the California legislature voted to change the school's name to San José State University.[26]

Historical milestones

  • In 1930, the Justice Studies Department was founded as a two-year police science degree program. It holds the distinction of offering the first policing degree in the United States. A stone monument and plaque are displayed close to the site of the original police school near Tower Hall.[27]
  • In 1942, the old gym (now named Yoshihiro Uchida Hall, after SJSU judo coach Yosh Uchida) was used to register and collect Japanese Americans before sending them to internment camps. Coincidentally, Uchida's parents and siblings were among those processed in the building.[28]
  • In 1963, in an effort to save Tower Hall from demolition, SJSU students and alumni organized testimonials before the State College Board of Trustees, sent telegrams, and provided signed petitions. As a result of those efforts, the tower, a prime campus landmark and SJSU icon, was refurbished and reopened in 1966. The tower was again renovated and restored in 2007. Tower Hall is registered with the California Office of Historic Preservation.[29][30]
  • During the 1960s and early 1970s, San Jose State College witnessed a rise in political activism and civic awareness among its student body, including major student protests against the Vietnam War. One of the largest campus protests took place in 1967 when Dow Chemical Company — a major manufacturer of napalm used in the war — came to campus to conduct job recruiting. An estimated 3,000 students and bystanders surrounded the Seventh Street administration building, and more than 200 students and teachers lay down on the ground in front of the recruiters.[31]
  • In 1972–1973, the economics department experienced political turmoil as the administration conducted a purge of left-leaning professors. For several years thereafter, the economics department was under censor by the American Association of University Professors.[32]
  • In 1982 the English department began sponsoring the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.[33]
  • In 1999, San Jose State and the City of San Jose agreed to combine their main libraries to form a joint city-university library located on campus, the first known collaboration of this type in the United States. The combined library faced opposition, with critics stating the two libraries have very different objectives and that the project would be too expensive. Despite opposition, the $177 million project proceeded, and the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Library opened on time and on budget in 2003. The new library has won several national awards since its initial opening.[34]
  • During its 2006-2007 fiscal year, SJSU received a record $50+ million in private gifts and $84 million in capital campaign contributions.[35]
  • In 2007, SJSU president Don Kassing launched SJSU's first-ever comprehensive capital fundraising campaign dubbed "Acceleration: the Campaign for San Jose State University." The original goal of the multi-year campaign was to raise $150 million, but was later increased to $200 million because of the rapid success of the campaign. The campaign would eventually exceed its goal one year earlier than anticipated, raising more than $208 million by August 2013.[36][37]
  • In 2008, SJSU received a CASE WealthEngine Award in recognition of raising over $100 million. SJSU was one of approximately 50 institutions nationwide honored by CASE in 2008 for overall performance in educational fundraising.[38]
  • In 2012, the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, awarded SJSU $73.3 million to participate in the development of systems for improving the safety and efficiency of air and space travel. NASA scientists, along with SJSU faculty members and graduate students, will collaborate on this effort, funded by the largest federal award in SJSU history.[39]

University principals and presidents

Principals (1857–99)

  • George W. Minns (1857–62 and 1865–66)
  • Ahira Holmes, Principal (1862–65)
  • Henry P. Carlton, Principal (1866–67 and February to May 1868)
  • George E. Tait, Principal (July 1867 – February 1868)
  • William T. Lucky, Principal (May 1868 – August 1873)
  • Charles H. Allen, Principal (1873–89)
  • Charles W. Childs, Principal (1889–96)
  • Ambrose Randall, Principal (1896–99)

Presidents (1900–present)

  • James McNaughton, President (1899–1900)
  • Morris Elmer Dailey, President (1900–18)
  • Lewis Ben Wilson, Acting President (1919–20)
  • William Webb Kemp, President (1920–23)
  • Alexander Richard Heron, Acting President, (July – September 1923)
  • Edwin Reagan Snyder, President (1923–25)
  • Herman F. Minssen, Acting President (1925–27)
  • Thomas William Macquarrie, President (1927–52)
  • John T. Wahlquist, President (1952–64)
  • Robert D. Clark, President (1964–69)
  • Hobert W. Burns, Acting President (1969–70)
  • John H. Bunzel, President (1970–78)
  • Gail Fullerton, President (1978–91)
  • J. Handel Evans, Acting President (1991–94)
  • Robert L. Caret, President (1995-2003)
  • Joseph N. Crowley, Interim President (Fall 2003)
  • Paul Yu, President (Summer 2004)
  • Jon Whitmore, President (August 2008 – July 2010)
  • Don W. Kassing, President (May 2005 – June 2008), Interim President (August 2004 – April 2005, August 2010 – July 2011)
  • Mohammad Qayoumi, President (August 2011 – August 2015)
  • Susan Martin, Interim President (August 2015 – June 2016)[40]
  • Mary Papazian, President (July 2016 – Present)[41]


 Aerial view of San Jose State campus.
Aerial view of San Jose State campus.

The SJSU main campus comprises approximately 55 buildings situated on a rectangular,154-acre (62.3 ha) area in downtown San Jose. The campus is bordered by San Fernando Street to the north, San Salvador Street to the south, South 4th Street to the west, and South 10th Street to the east. The south campus, which is home to many of the school's athletics facilities, is located approximately 1.5 mi (2.4 km) south of the main campus on South 7th Street.

California State Normal School did not receive a permanent home until it moved from San Francisco to San Jose in 1871. The original California State Normal School campus in San Jose consisted of several rectangular, wooden buildings with a central grass quadrangle. The wooden buildings were destroyed by fire in 1880 and were replaced by interconnected stone and masonry structures of roughly the same configuration in 1881. These buildings were declared unsafe following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and were being torn down when an aftershock of the magnitude that was predicted to destroy the buildings occurred and no damage was observed. Accordingly, demolition was stopped, and the portions of the buildings still standing were made into four halls: Tower Hall, Morris Dailey Auditorium, Washington Square Hall, and Dwight Bentel Hall. These four structures remain standing to this day, and are the oldest buildings on campus.

Beginning in the fall of 1994, the on-campus segments of San Carlos Street, Seventh Street and Ninth Street were closed to automobile traffic and converted to pedestrian walkways and green belts within the campus. San Carlos Street was renamed Paseo San Carlos, Seventh Street became El Paseo de César Chávez, and Ninth Street is now called the Ninth Street Plaza. The project was completed in 1996.

Completed in 1999, the Business Classroom Project was a $16 million renovation of the James F. Boccardo Business Education Center.

 Tower Hall
Tower Hall
 The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library.

Completed in 1999, the $1.5 million Heritage Gateway project was unveiled. The privately funded project featured construction of eight oversized gateways around the main campus perimeter.

In the fall of 2000, the SJSU Police Department, which is part of the larger California State University Police Department, opened a new on-campus, multi-level facility on 7th Street.

The $177 million Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, which opened its doors on August 1, 2003, won the Library Journal's 2004 Library of the Year award, the publication’s highest honor.[42] The King Library represents the first collaboration of its kind between a university and a major U.S. city. The library is eight stories high, has 475,000 square feet (44,100 m2) of floor space, and houses approximately 1.3 million volumes.[43] San Jose's first public library occupied the same site from 1901 to 1936, and SJSU's Wahlquist Library occupied the site from 1961 to 2000.

In 2006, a $2 million renovation of Tower Hall was completed. Tower Hall (California Historical Landmarks in Santa Clara County, California No. 417) is among the oldest and most recognizable buildings on campus. It was dedicated in 1910 after previous campus structures were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. Tower Hall, Morris Dailey Auditorium, Washington Square Hall and Dwight Bentel Hall are the four oldest buildings on campus.[44]

In September 2010 a $90 million expansion and renovation of the SJSU student union commenced. The project added approximately 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) including construction of new ballrooms, food court, theater, meeting rooms, and student program spaces. The expansion phase of the project was completed in June 2014. The renovation phase of the project was completed in August 2015.[45]

Construction of a new, three-story, 52,000 square feet (4,800 m2) on-campus health center at 7th Street and Paseo de San Carlos was completed in March 2015. The building houses the Student Health Center, Student Affairs office, Counseling Services and Wellness Center. The project was completed at a cost of over $36 million.[45][46][47]

In August 2015, a $55 million renovation of the Spartan Complex was completed.[45] The Spartan Complex houses open recreation spaces, gymnasia, an indoor aquatics center, the kinesiology department, weight rooms, locker rooms, dance and judo studios, and other classroom space. The primary project objectives were to upgrade the structures to make them compliant with current building codes, correct ADA deficiencies, correct fire safety deficiencies, expand and modify existing structures, and hazmat abatement.

Residence halls

The SJSU on-campus housing community comprises six residence halls, which can accommodate a combined total of 4,350 students. The residence halls are identified as follows:

  • Campus Village – In 2005, the Campus Village residence complex opened, replacing three of SJSU's six red brick residence halls known as "The Bricks." The $200 million housing facility comprises three buildings ranging from seven to 15 stories tall. The complex can accommodate up to 2,600 students, and provides housing options for first-year students, non-freshmen, upper-classmen, graduate students, faculty, staff and guests of the university. The facility also includes a two-story underground parking garage for on-campus residents.[48]
  • Campus Village (Phase 2) – In 2016, Campus Village (Phase 2) was completed.[49] CV2 is an 850-bed, 10-story residence facility located on the SJSU campus near the intersection of 9th Street and Paseo de San Carlos. It is designated for first-year freshman. The high-rise facility increased total on-campus housing capacity to 4,350. The estimated cost of the building was $126 million.[45][50]
  • Joe West Hall – Also referred to as a "Classic," Joe West is a 12-story residence hall reserved for first-year freshmen. This hall houses a total of 650 students.[51]
  • Washburn Hall – After Hoover Hall and Royce Hall were demolished in 2016,[52][49] Washburn Hall became the only remaining red brick residence hall on the SJSU campus. Also known as a "Classic," Washburn Hall is reserved for first-year freshmen students only. Washburn offers a smaller living-learning environment for up to 250 residents.

Additional on-campus facilities

In 2007, the School of Information opened a virtual campus in Second Life, complete with faculty offices, classrooms, student lounge and library e-resources.[53]

SJSU is home to the 10,000-square-foot (930 m2), three-story Nuclear Science Facility. It is the only nuclear science facility of its kind in the California State University system.[54]

Located on the main campus, The Event Center Arena seats approximately 5,000 people for athletic events and over 6,500 for concerts, and features an attached recreation center that includes a basketball court, racquetball courts, a weight room and cardio equipment. The recreation center also hosts over 40 hours of group fitness classes per week during the fall and spring academic semesters.[55]

The SJSU Student Union is a four-story, stand-alone facility that features a food court, the Spartan Bookstore, a multi-level study area, ballrooms, a bowling alley, music room, and a large game room. In June 2014, the first phase of a $90 million expansion and renovation project of the SJSU student union was completed. The second and final phase of the project was completed in August 2015.[45]

A new student recreation and aquatic center is currently under construction. At a projected cost of $139 million, the new facility will house a gymnasium, weight and fitness center, exercise rooms, rock climbing wall, sports club organizations, and competition and recreation pools with support spaces. The new facility will be located on the main campus at the corner of 7th Street and San Carlos on the site of the old aquatic center, which was demolished in 2017. The estimated project completion date is set for December 2018.[45]

A new interdisciplinary science building is currently in the planning stages. At a projected cost of $148 million, the new facility will house teaching labs, research labs, faculty offices, a dean's suite and interdisciplinary spaces totaling 160,000 gross square feet. The proposed project location is the southwest quadrant of campus north of Duncan Hall. Construction is anticipated to begin in January 2019, with an estimated project completion date of June 2021.[45]

South campus

 A view of South Campus, stretching from the parking lot west of CEFCU Stadium to the golf course.
A view of South Campus, stretching from the parking lot west of CEFCU Stadium to the golf course.

Many of SJSU's athletics facilities, including the newly-named CEFCU stadium (formerly known as Spartan Stadium) and Blethen Field (baseball), along with the athletics department administrative offices and multiple training and practice facilities, are located on the 62-acre (25.1 ha) south campus approximately 1.5 mi (2.4 km) south of the main campus near 7th Street. The south campus also is home to student overflow parking. Shuttle buses run between the main campus and south campus every 10 to 15 minutes Monday through Thursday.

A north end zone building addition for CEFCU Stadium is currently in the planning stages. The estimated cost of the project is $40 million. The 61,000 square feet (5,700 m2) facility will house sports medicine and athletic training space, a football team locker room, football coaching staff offices, meeting rooms, a hall of fame, and an auditorium. The facility will serve the day-to-day operations of the athletic department, and provide hospitality space on game days. It will be located at the South Campus site, north of Spartan Stadium.[56]

In April 2014, a new $75 million master plan to renovate the entire South Campus was unveiled. The estimated cost has since been increased to $150 million including the cost of the new football stadium addition. The plan calls for construction of a 9-hole golf facility, new baseball and softball stadia, new track and field facilities, new soccer and tennis facilities, and three beach volleyball courts. The golf and soccer facilities broke ground in 2016. The remaining projects are currently in the planning stages.[57]

Off-campus facilities

SJSU Simpkins International House (360 South 11th Street, San Jose) provides housing for domestic as well as international students of the university. International House (also known as I-House) is a co-ed residence facility for 70 U.S. and international students attending San José State University. The building has served as a residence hall since 1980, and offers cultural exchanges for U.S. students as well as residents from abroad.

The SJSU Department of Aviation and Technology maintains a 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) academic facility at the Reid-Hillview Airport.

SJSU manages the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in Moss Landing, California, on the Monterey Bay. MLML is a cooperative research facility of seven CSU campuses. Construction of a new aquaculture laboratory at the MLML site officially opened in August 2014. The building project included construction of a 1,400 square feet (130 m2) aquaculture lab building and installation of a 1,584 square feet (147.2 m2) tank slab area. The project was made possible by grants from the Packard Foundation.[45][58]

Art and Metal Foundry (1036 South 5th Street, San Jose)

Associated Students Child Development Center (460 South 8th Street, San Jose)

SJSU International and Extended Studies facility (384 South 2nd Street, San Jose). This off-campus classroom building houses SJSU's International Gateway Programs, a collection of classes geared toward introducing international students to English language and American culture.[59]

University Club (408 South 8th Street, San Jose), is a 16-room, multi-level dining, special events, and bed-and-breakfast style residence facility for faculty, staff, visiting scholars and graduate students of the university. This building is currently occupied by Alpha Omicron Pi sorority in agreement with the university.

Known simply as North Fourth Street (210 North 4th Street, San Jose), this four-story facility houses the Global Studies Institute, Governmental & External Affairs, International and Extended Studies, the Mineta Transportation Institute, the Processed Foods Institute, and the SJSU Research Foundation.


As a member institution of the California State University System, San Jose State falls under the jurisdiction of the California State University Board of Trustees and the chancellor of the California State University.

The chief executive of San José State University is the university president. The current president is Dr. Mary A. Papazian.

The university is organized into eight colleges:

Additionally, SJSU has 7 focused schools:

SJSU is also home to a burgeoning eCampus community, which is administered by the College of International and Extended Studies (CIES). CIES coordinates continuing education and professional development programs across campus.[75]


 Tower Hall
Tower Hall


San Jose State offers 69 bachelor's degrees with 81 concentrations, 65 master's degrees with 29 concentrations, five credential programs with 19 concentrations, two joint doctoral degrees, and one independent doctoral degree program.[12][13][14]

SJSU's two joint doctoral degree programs include a Ph.D. program in library science through Queensland University of Technology,[76] and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program administered in collaboration with California State University, Fresno.[77] In 2014, the Connie L. Lurie College of Education launched an Ed.D. program in educational leadership. The Ed.D. program represents SJSU's first and only independent doctoral degree offering.[14]

As of fall 2016, the top five most popular undergraduate majors at SJSU were (in descending order of popularity) design studies, psychology, kinesiology, business administration/marketing and biological sciences.[17] As of fall 2016, the top five most popular graduate programs were (in descending order of popularity) software engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, library and information sciences and industrial/systems engineering.[17] Programs somewhat unique to SJSU include aviation, transportation management, meteorology, software engineering, and sustainable and green manufacturing technology.[78][79]

As of fall 2016, the university's Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, with nearly 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students, was the largest college on campus.[17] As of fall 2016, the most popular fields of study within the engineering college were (in descending order of popularity) electrical engineering, software engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering.[17]

As of fall 2016, SJSU's College of Applied Sciences and Arts was the second largest college on campus with a total enrollment of over 5,300 undergraduate and graduate students.[17] As of fall 2016, the most popular fields of study within the College of Applied Sciences and Arts were (in descending order of popularity) kinesiology, justice studies, health science, journalism and social work. The College of Applied Sciences and Arts is home to SJSU's School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the School of Social Work, The Valley Foundation School of Nursing, and the School of Information. As of fall 2016, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications was the largest of these focused schools with a total enrollment of approximately 500 undergraduate and graduate students.[17]

As of fall 2016, the university's Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, with just over 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, was the third-largest college at SJSU[17] and among the largest business schools in the country.[80] The Lucas College and Graduate School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, a distinction held by less than 5% of business programs worldwide.[81] As of fall 2016, the most popular fields of study within the college of business were (in descending order of popularity) marketing, accounting, management, finance and management information systems.[17]

As of fall 2016, SJSU's College of Social Sciences was the fourth largest college on campus with a total enrollment of approximately 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students.[17] As of fall 2016, the most popular fields of study within the College of Social Sciences were (in descending order of popularity) psychology, communication studies, sociology, political science and anthropology.[17]

As of fall 2016, SJSU's College of Humanities and the Arts was the fifth largest college on campus with a total enrollment of over 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students. As of fall 2016, the most popular fields of study within the College of Humanities and the Arts were (in descending order of popularity) design studies, art, English, television-radio-film and music.[17]


USNWR graduate school rankings[85]

Nursing: Master's 211

USNWR departmental rankings[85]

Fine Arts 104
Library and Information Studies 34
Occupational Therapy 37
Public Affairs 115
Social Work 71
Speech–Language Pathology 141
  • According to the U.S. News & World Report 2017 college rankings, San Jose State is ranked 6th among western regional public institutions and tied for 33rd among all regional universities in the western United States.[86]
  • SJSU's college of engineering is ranked 3rd in the nation among public university engineering programs offering bachelor's and master's degrees, and 22nd nationally among all public and private colleges that do not offer doctoral degrees, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2017 college rankings.[87][88]
  • SJSU is ranked 319th out of 650 institutions nationwide on the 2017 Forbes America's Top Colleges list. Forbes also ranked SJSU 101st nationally among all public colleges and universities, 59th in the West, and 130th out of 300 schools on the Forbes list of America's Best Value Colleges.[89]
  • The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, which provides an assessment of the scholarly contents, visibility and impact of universities on the web, ranked SJSU 711th out of approximately 12,000 universities worldwide, and 199th out of 3,264 U.S. universities (2016).[90]
  • Washington Monthly ranked SJSU 247th nationally out of 634 master's universities (2016).[91]
  • Great Value Colleges ranked SJSU's statistics program No. 44 in the nation in 2016. The ranking measures program offerings, return on investment, opportunities, facilities and unique characteristics.[92]
  • As of 2015, San José State University is ranked 1st on the list of top feeder schools for Apple Inc., which employs over 1,000 SJSU graduates. SJSU ranks 9th on the list of top feeder schools for Facebook.[93]
  • In 2015, Business Insider reported SJSU ranked 1st nationally among universities that are most likely to land you a job in Silicon Valley.[94]
  • The Princeton Review listed San Jose State's Lucas Graduate School of Business among the best 296 business programs in the nation (2015).[95]
  • Money Magazine ranked San Jose State 171st nationally out of over 700 schools it evaluated for its 2015 Best Colleges ranking.[96]
  • The 2013-2014 PayScale College Salary Report ranked San Jose State University alumni 29th nationally in salary potential among graduates of 434 public colleges and universities.[97] According to the PayScale 2014 College Education return on investment (ROI) rankings, San Jose State ranked 30th nationally among 420 public universities and 100th nationally among 1,312 U.S. colleges and universities (both public and private).[98]
  • SJSU's School of Journalism and Mass Communications was named one of the 50-best journalism schools in the United States by College Media Matters (2012–2013).[99]
  • Business Insider ranked SJSU's engineering school among the 50-best engineering schools in the world in 2012.[100]
  • In 2010, the school appeared in the Forbes magazine ranking of "20 Colleges that will make you rich".[101]
  • In 2009, the city of San Jose was named the nation's top mid-size metro college destination, according to the American Institute for Economic Research College Destinations Index for 2009-2010.[102] The index analyzes the academic environment, quality of life, and professional opportunity in more than 360 cities across the U.S.
  • In 2007, SJSU's School of Art and Design appeared on BusinessWeek's list of the "60 Best Design Schools in the World".[103]


Freshman Admission Statistics[104][105][106][107][108][109]
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Applicants 31,555 30,583 29,734 27,679 25,155 22,978
Admits 16,862 16,890 17,793 17,733 15,967 17,265
 % Admitted 53.4 55.2 59.8 64.1 63.5 75.1
Enrolled 3,208 3,461 3,486 3,736 3,384 3,947
SAT composite (middle 50% range) 920-1150 920-1180 900-1200 880-1160 910-1150 890-1120
ACT composite (middle 50% range) 20-25 20-26 18-27 19-26 19-25 18-24
Average High School GPA 3.41 3.40 3.38 3.31 3.29 3.19

Admission to SJSU is based on a combination of the applicant's high school cumulative grade point average (GPA) and standardized test scores. These factors are used to determine the applicant's California State University (CSU) eligibility index. More specifically, the eligibility index is a weighted combination of the applicant's high school grade point average during the final three years of high school and either the SAT or ACT score.

The CSU eligibility index is calculated by using either the SAT or ACT as follows:

(Sum of SAT scores in mathematics and critical reading) + (800 x high school GPA) or (10 x ACT composite score without the writing score) + (200 x high school GPA)

In fall 2016, a total of 31,555 first-time, first-year (freshmen) applications were submitted, with 16,862 applicants accepted (53.4%) and 3,208 enrolling (19.0% of those accepted).[104]

Among first-time, first-year (freshmen) students who enrolled in fall 2016, SAT scores for the middle 50% ranged from 450-560 for critical reading, 470-590 for math, and 450-550 for writing.[104] ACT composite scores for the middle 50% ranged from 20–25.[104] The average high school GPA for incoming freshmen was 3.41.[104]

In recent years, enrollment at SJSU has become impacted in all undergraduate majors, which means the university no longer has the enrollment capacity to accept all CSU-eligible applicants, including some from local high schools and community colleges. Although an applicant may meet the minimum CSU admission requirements, CSU-eligible applicants are no longer guaranteed admission.[110][111]

Graduation and retention rates

Among first-time freshmen students who enrolled at SJSU in fall 2010, 56.1% graduated within six years. Among new undergraduate transfer students who enrolled at SJSU in fall 2013, 52.7% graduated within three years. Among new undergraduate transfer students who enrolled at SJSU in fall 2011, 67.6% graduated within five years. Among first-time graduate students who enrolled at SJSU in fall 2013, 53.8% graduated within three years. Among first-time graduate students who enrolled at SJSU in fall 2011, 54.9% graduated within five years.[17]

The percent of fall 2015 students returning in fall 2016 was 86.8% for full-time freshman students, 87.5% for new undergraduate transfer students, and 87.9% for first-time graduate students.[17]

Faculty and research

In the fall of 2015, San José State University employed 1,798 faculty, 698 of whom (or about 39%) were tenured or on the tenure track.[112]

According to National Science Foundation survey data, in 2015 San Jose State's research and development expenditures totaled $45 million, placing it second in total R&D expenditures out of all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses and 202nd out of 895 colleges and universities nationwide.[113]

Research collections located at SJSU include the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies and the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies. SJSU research partnerships include the SJSU Metropolitan Technology Center at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, the Cisco Networking Laboratory, and the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. SJSU is also home to the Mineta Transportation Institute.

Since 2001, the university has operated the Survey and Policy Research Institute (SPRI), which conducts the quarterly, high-profile California Consumer Confidence Survey and many other research projects.

In spring 2007, an SJSU engineering professor and his students made headlines with their development of the ZEM (Zero EMissions) Car, a Human Hybrid Powered Vehicle (HHPV). The vehicle won the National I2P (Idea-to-Product) Competition for EPICS and Social Entrepreneurship at Princeton University.[114] The ZEM car is the first of its kind to be powered by human, solar, and electric energy.

Since 2009, the SJSU Department of Kinesiology has operated the Timpany Center (located at 730 Empey Way), a non-profit therapeutic facility open to all and owned by the County of Santa Clara. The center is dedicated to the health and fitness of those with a disability or age-related concerns.

In 2012, the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, awarded SJSU $73.3 million to participate in the development of systems for improving the safety and efficiency of air and space travel. NASA scientists, along with SJSU faculty members and graduate students, will collaborate on this effort, funded by the largest federal award in SJSU history.[39]

On 21 July 2012, SJSU launched its first miniaturized satellite used for space research, TechEdSat, in a partnership with the NASA Ames Research Center.[115]

SJSU is a member institution of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.[116]


 Boccardo Gate - San José State University
Boccardo Gate - San José State University
Demographics of student body (Fall 2016)[17]
African American 3%
American Indian/Alaskan <1%
Asian 32%
Hispanic 24%
Pacific Islander <1%
White 19%
Foreign Nationals 12%
Other 9%

As the oldest and one of the largest universities in the CSU system, SJSU attracts students from throughout California, the United States and 100 countries around the world.[117] According to the Institute of International Education, San Jose State had the highest foreign student enrollment of all master's institutions in the United States in 2008.[16]

As of the fall semester 2016, 32,154 students were enrolled at SJSU: 26,388 undergraduate students and 5,766 graduate students; 15,712 women and 16,445 men. The graduate student enrollment at SJSU was the second-highest of any campus in the CSU system. Student age distributions are as follows (approximate percentages): 18% are <19, 53% are 20-24, 19% are 25-29, 5% are 30-34, 5% are 35-59, and less than 1% are >60.[5]

Approximately 4,400 students live in campus housing, and community impact studies show an estimated 5,000 more students live within easy walking or biking distance of the campus.[117] Additionally, approximately 45% of all first-year (freshman) students live in campus residence facilities.[118]

As of 2017, there are over 400 active student organizations at SJSU. These include academic and honorary organizations, cultural and religious organizations, special interest organizations, fraternities and sororities, and a wide variety of club sports organizations.

Fraternities and sororities

Fraternities (NIC)[119] Sororities (NPC)[120]

Fraternities and sororities have existed at SJSU since 1896.[121] SJSU is home to 43 social fraternity and sorority chapters managed by Student Involvement. The 43 Greek organizations include social (NIC & NPC) and cultural (NPHC & USFC) . Eighteen of them maintain chapter homes in the residential community east of campus along South 10th and 11th streets, north of campus along San Fernando Street, or south of campus along San Salvador Street, South 8th Street, and East Reed Street, in downtown San Jose.[122] The only SJSU Greek organization not a part of the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils that maintains a chapter house is Alpha Phi Alpha. Alpha Sigma Phi and Pi Kappa Phi of the Interfraternity Council do not yet have chapter homes. An additional twenty-six fraternities are co-ed and are either major-related, honors-related, or community service related. Approximately 6% of male students join social fraternities, and 6% of female students join social sororities.

Spartan Marching Band

The Spartan Marching Band comprises students from every field of study on campus, from first year undergraduates through graduate students, as well as several "open university" members. At each home football game, the Spartan Marching Band performs a completely new halftime show, plus a pre-game show and a post-game concert. The band reflects all the color and fanfare of major university sports pageantry. The band is unofficially known as "The Pride of the Spartans", and generally performs with a color guard and dance team.[123]

Spartan Squad

Founded in 2005, the Spartan Squad is the official student booster program at San Jose State.

The Spartan Squad is run by the Associated Students and is open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at San Jose State. Its stated mission is to increase student attendance at sporting events and cultivate school pride throughout the campus community. The Spartan Squad members are easily recognized wearing the group's signature gold T-shirts designed by San Jose State graphic design student Dang Nguyen. Class of 2006 graduates Matthew Olivieri and Brad Villeggiante are credited with founding the group.

Student press

The school newspaper, The Spartan Daily, was founded in 1934 and is published three days a week when classes are in session. The publication follows a broadsheet format and has a daily print circulation of over 6,000, as well as a daily on-line edition. The newspaper is produced by journalism and advertising students enrolled in SJSU's School of Journalism and Mass Communications. The journalism school, including The Spartan Daily newsroom and other student press facilities, are housed inside Dwight Bentel Hall. The building was named after the department's founder and long time chairman, Dwight Bentel. The journalism school also runs an on-campus advertising agency, Dwight, Bentel and Hall Communications.

Update News is a weekly, student-produced television newscast that airs every weekend on KICU, Channel 36 in San Jose. The newscast is produced by San Jose State broadcast journalism students, and has aired in the Bay Area since 1982.[124] The newscast previously aired on educational station KTEH. Update News also features a daily live webcast.

Equal Time is a news magazine show produced by the San Jose State School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Each half-hour episode examines a different issue in depth, and ends with a roundtable discussion featuring professors and other experts in search of solutions. Equal Time airs Saturday afternoons on KQED+ (Channel 54 or Comcast Channel 10) in the Bay Area.[125]

Established in 1963, KSJS, 90.5 FM, is the university's student-run radio station. KSJS features live broadcasts of San Jose State athletic events, various types of music including electronic, urban, jazz, subversive rock, and rock en Español, as well as specialty talk shows.[126]


 California State Normal School football 1910
California State Normal School football 1910

San José State University has participated in athletics since it first fielded a baseball team in 1890. SJSU sports teams are known as the Spartans, and compete in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) in NCAA Division I.

San José State University sports teams have won NCAA national titles in track and field, golf, boxing, fencing and tennis.[127] As of 2017, SJSU has won 10 NCAA national Division 1 team championships[128] and produced 50 NCAA national Division 1 individual champions.[127] SJSU also has achieved an international reputation for its judo program, winning 51 National Collegiate Judo Association (NCJA) championships in 56 years (as of 2017).[129][130][131][132]

SJSU alumni have won 19 Olympic medals (including seven gold medals) dating back to the first gold medal won by Willie Steele in track and field in the 1948 Summer Olympics. Alumni also have won medals in swimming, judo and boxing.

 Utah vs. San José State at Spartan Stadium - 2009
Utah vs. San José State at Spartan Stadium - 2009

The track team coached by "Bud" Winter earned San Jose the nickname "Speed City", and produced Olympic medalists and social activists Lee Evans, John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Smith and Carlos are perhaps best remembered for giving the raised fist salute from the medalist's podium during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. The track and field program was canceled in 1988 after a series of budget cuts and Title IX related decisions decimated the program. The program is scheduled to return for the 2016 season.[133]

After an 11-2 finish in 2012, SJSU's football team achieved its first-ever BCS ranking and first national ranking since 1990.[134] SJSU was ranked #21 in both the 2012 post-season Associated Press Poll and the USA Today Coaches' Poll.


A heated debate was held in 1925 over the effort of some students to change the school colors from gold and white to purple and white. Tradition won out, and it was decided to keep the original colors — gold and white.

This same issue came before the students again in 1946, when after many weeks of discussion the question was put to another vote. Once again, tradition won.[135]

Each year during the fall semester SJSU hosts a series of events where students can watch films at the Campus MovieFest Finale and show school pride at the Fire on the Fountain leading up to the homecoming football game at the newly-named CEFCU stadium[136] (formerly known as Spartan Stadium).

Club sports

In addition to its various NCAA Division I sports programs, San José State University also has a very active and thriving club sports community consisting of 25 sports and 30 teams.[137] Many of the club sports teams are run and organized by students, although some of the more established teams enjoy strong alumni support. The list of club sports active at SJSU includes:

Archery, badminton, bowling, boxing, cycling, dance, fencing, ACHA Division II and Division lll ice hockey, judo, MCLA Division III men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, mountain biking, power lifting, quidditch, roller hockey, men's rugby, salsa, men's & women's soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, track & field, triathlon, ultimate frisbee, men's & women's volleyball, men's water polo, and wrestling.[138]


About 60 percent of San Jose State’s nearly 220,000 alumni of record live in the San Francisco Bay Area. The other 40 percent are scattered around the globe, with concentrations in Southern California, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and New York City.[139]

As of 2015, more San Jose State alumni are employed by Silicon Valley firms than graduates of any other college or university in the country.[18][19] As of 2015, San José State University is listed as the top feeder school for Apple Inc., which employs over 1,000 SJSU graduates. SJSU ranks 9th on the list of top feeder schools for Facebook.[93]

Nearly 200 former SJSU students and graduates have founded, co-founded, served or serve as senior executives or officers of public and private companies reporting annual sales between $40 million and $26 billion.[117] This list includes current Intel Corporation CEO, Brian Krzanich,[140] and current Crown Worldwide Group CEO, billionaire James E. Thompson.[141]

Notable companies founded by SJSU students and alumni include Dolby Laboratories (1965), Intel Corporation (1968), Specialized Bicycle Components (1974), Oracle Corporation (1977), Seagate Technology (1979) and WhatsApp (2008).[142][143]

Musicians Doug Clifford and Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons (The Doobie Brothers), Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) and Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane) all attended San Jose State.[144][144][145][145][146][147][148]

SJSU alumni Dick Vermeil and Bill Walsh earned a combined four Super Bowl victories as NFL head coaches.[149][150]

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